The Quiet Revival—America’s Hope from the Awkward Homeschool Kid
I’ve become moderately suspicious of the scheduled revival, as if the Holy Spirit adhered to man’s timing. Yet, our nation needs revival, desperately. As we descend further into the abyss, the frenzied call from the religious right for a “return to our roots” has reached a crescendo. Yet, their helplessness is as palpable as their frustration at their inability to right the course though they’ve found a champion in our current Commander-in-Chief. Aside from the Second Coming, only a third Great Awakening can save our nation and I believe it may come from an unlikely source, the home school student.
Reforming adults is comparably a waste of time. There are few adult converts (obviously there are some as I am adult convert but the number is statistically insignificant). If a child grows up and leaves home apart from Christ, he will one day likely die apart from Christ. Evangelizing adults is necessary, just not nearly as fruitful.
Nor can the unredeemed adult, even if he is conservative in his slant, offer much in the way of the necessary reformation. Apart from Christ, the unredeemed conservative adult quickly retreats into vitriol toward those who stand in opposition. Our nation could certainly be great again, like Rome or the Khan dynasty, great and terrible.
True greatness demands reformation, revival.
Home schooling stands as a new(old) phenomenon. The studies that do exist demonstrate a few facts.
Home school students perform well in several areas to include college performance and standardized testing. Yet, other studies suggest that the normal population of home school students would likely perform just as well in a public school. In other words, it is possibly a combination of the student, demographics, and the environment that drives performance.
Home schooling is growing fast, at roughly 100,000 students per year. According to the Department of Education, nearly 2 million home school students account for 3 to 4 percent of the national student population. From 2002 to 2012, the population of home school students increased by 62 percent. What used to be considered fringe has become increasingly normal.
Yet, the reason parents homeschool their children proves most interesting. Essentially, two sides of the same issue drive parents from the public schools.
1. Concern for the environment of public schools.
Public schools have become a cesspool of godless ideology force fed to students daily by the administration and other students. From contemporary gender-bending to contempt for all things Christian, public schools indoctrinate all children in some manner, including those who have been raised in a Christian home. I sat and listened to my 17-year-old son, our only child still languishing in the public school system, complete his biology homework. Indoctrination was in full swing and he was blissfully unaware.
2. Desire to impart moral/religious instruction to their children.
Not all homeschoolers are Christian but anecdotally, we’ve been immersed in the community for 7 years and I know of no group that is not Christ-centered. Most home schooling parents seek to instill in their children Christian morality and ethics and more than that, Christ Himself.
The most effective evangelists are parents of children. The Bible repeatedly exhorts and commands believers to teach their children the way, to “train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) Obviously some rebel, but in general, children raised in the way of Christ becomes Christ-followers. The great statement of faith that is the Sh’ma (Deuteronomy 6:4) is followed with this statement, “You shall teach them [these words] diligently to your children.” (Deuteronomy 6:7) Homeschooling enables discipleship, allowing the parents to reclaim their role as the primary influence in their child’s life.
Homeschooling increasingly populates the adult ranks with probable Christ-followers who, as a side-benefit, will likely become high achievers in a secular world thus furthering the cause. Per the National Home Education Research Institute, home school children “internalize the values and beliefs of their parents at a high rate” and this is just the recipe we need for a revival/reformation. Our nation desperately needs it. I pray it is enough.
Author - Founder
Soldier, Pastor, Author – Bradford stays busy, with his wife Ami, raising their 9 children, serving the nation, pastoring, preaching, and writing books (#3 is due out October ’17).
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